We used to read the morning paper, maybe watch the evening news, but in between we went about our business, doing whatever it is that we do, with only the occasional gossip break.
But now, information is coming at us 24/7…often with no filter or clear purpose. It’s just there, so much of it to sift through. Good, bad, interesting, repetitive, useful, useless, sensational, ridiculous, inspiring, disheartening.
The questions that interests me are…
How has our tolerance for information, both good and bad, changed?
How have we changed the way we absorb information?
And what has this done to our attention span and our ability to digest that information?
In other words, we know the way we consume information is changing, but is our tolerance and absorption changing as well?
I know for myself as someone who is surrounded by information on a daily basis, I have found a decreased tolerance for that information as well as a shift toward an increasingly shallow absorption.
Because information is everywhere I have to filter it…heavily. What that means for me is…limiting my “information channels” - I’m so plugged in to the internet, that I don’t really want information from the TV news or the newspaper or radio. In fact, I’ll turn the channel just to shut it out…it’s too much for me to take in.
I prefer short and to the point! If the article is more than a few paragraphs, I skim it, more than 700 words, I won’t even bother to read it usually…unless I’m extremely intrigued…or I just love the way the author writes. Why do we need to use 1,000 words, when 100 will do?
I have very little tolerance for:
Rehash - I’ve heard it before…Let’s face it, most of what we read is nothing new. It’s just a re-hash of the same old information with a new title. I don’t need to waste my brain space on something I already know.
Blah-Blah-Blah – As I said above…Get to the point please!
Sub-standard – If you can’t spell or string together sentences properly…don’t write. If you can’t use intelligent words and express yourself clearly…don’t try to report the news (Eye candy does not interest me – a brain does.)
Celebrity license – For heaven’s sake, don’t publish a book – that you probably didn’t even write – and expect me to be interested just because you have a recognizable face or name. I’m really not that interested in your life…
I have to work harder than ever before…
I find that since information is coming at me at such volume and speed, I have difficulty thoroughly absorbing and digesting it, let alone actually using it in any real way. I have to consciously force myself to slow down and pay attention, to re-read and take notes even.
I’m definitely more discerning, less tolerant and less likely to absorb at a deep knowledge level. I’m not giving up on information…not at all…I just know that I have to be more conscious about what I put into my brain.
And now I am getting perilously close to that line of too long, too much, too unfocused…
So I’ll say…Thanks for reading.
How has your tolerance, intake and absorption shift? Or hasn’t it?
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